Carnegie Mellon University Dean and statistical bioinformatics researcher joins RPI
June 21, 2023
Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI) today announced the appointment of Rebecca W. Doerge, Ph.D., as Provost, effective August 1, 2023. Doerge joins the Rensselaer community from Carnegie Mellon University, where she is the Glen de Vries Dean of the Mellon College of Science and a member of the Dietrich College of Humanities and Social Sciences’ Department of Statistics and Data Science and the Mellon College of Science’s Department of Biological Sciences.
“I am delighted to welcome Rebecca Doerge to RPI as our next Provost,” said Martin A. Schmidt ’81, President of RPI. “Her strong and deep background, which bridges multiple scientific disciplines, is an ideal match with the strengths of RPI. I have no doubt she will open many new doors for us, and I look forward to working alongside her.”
“I am excited to serve as RPI's next provost and return to my home of upstate New York,” said Doerge. “I look forward to working with President Schmidt as we build on the university’s close to 200-year history of excellence and create a pathway for the institution's future.”
As dean, she launched a future of science initiative to bring together Carnegie Mellon’s strengths in automation, artificial intelligence, machine learning, and data analytics with the foundational sciences. The initiative includes construction of the Richard King Mellon Hall of Sciences and the Carnegie Mellon University Cloud Lab, the first such lab at a university.
Doerge’s research focuses on statistical bioinformatics, an interdisciplinary component of bioinformatics that brings together many scientific disciplines for the purpose of asking, answering, and disseminating biologically interesting information in the quest to understand the ultimate function of DNA and epigenomic associations. Prior to joining Carnegie Mellon in 2016, she was the Trent and Judith Anderson Distinguished Professor of Statistics at Purdue University, where she held a joint appointment between the Colleges of Agriculture (Department of Agronomy) and Science (Department of Statistics).
A native of upstate New York, as a first generation student Rebecca studied theoretical mathematics at the University of Utah. She obtained her Ph.D. in statistics from North Carolina State University, and she was a postdoctoral fellow at Cornell University, studying biometry and plant breeding.
Doerge is an elected Fellow of the American Statistical Association (2007) and the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) (2007), and a Fellow of the Committee on Institutional Cooperation (2009). She previously served as chair of the AAAS Statistics Section (2020); on the Board of Trustees for the National Institute of Statistical Sciences and the Mathematical Biosciences Institute; and as a member of the Global Open-Source Breeding Informatics Initiative Advisory Board. She has published two books and more than 120 scientific articles. Doerge has mentored many students, including 25 doctoral students who have successfully defended their theses.